AMC’s The Walking Dead
Season 8, Episode 10: “The Lost and the Plunderers”
Directed by David Boyd
Written by Angela Kang, Channing Powell, & Corey Reed
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Honor” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Dead or Alive Or” – click here
Everybody’s going to be a little different now, after Carl (Chandler Riggs) has died. Rick (Andrew Lincoln) will, of course, find himself changing again, as he’s done so often. But Michonne (Danai Gurira) had a special bond with the kid, too. She wasn’t quite step mom, though they were close, they spend so much time together, and they trusted one another like family. Her world’s evolving, as well. Just as much as Rick’s world will be shaped by the loss of yet another person. And for now the remaining two must get moving, in more ways than one, as they clear out of Alexandria – their former home that’s now falling down around them.
What do the pair discover on their road trip? Carl wrote a letter addressed to Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). For the time being, Rick doesn’t care. He wants to talk to Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh) and her people, to make sure he can warn them about what’s been going on seeing as how the Saviors will come after them. Rick and Michonne head to Garbage City where they walk into another fucked up trap set by the trash heap nihilists. Looks like the couple are stuck between a rock and a hard a place and a horde of fucking zombies.
Meanwhile, Negan is dealing with Simon (Steven Ogg), who’s got some issues with how he’s being used by the his leader. The man wielding Lucille wants his right-hand lad to deal with the “garbage people.” Yet Simon doesn’t see them following along with with the Saviors and sees it as a waste of time and resources. He believes there are “other communities to save” farther out there. Oh, man. Shit’s getting tense between these two dudes. Then they get a delivery from Maggie (Lauren Cohan): a coffin with a former Savior-cum-walker inside. This drives Simon even crazier, which prompts anger from Negan. This situation is going to blow up. One of my favourite exchanges involving Negan, actually. Something great about the writing here that changes the dynamic, and that excites me.
Poor Enid (Katelyn Nacon) and Aaron (Ross Marquand) have been taken hostage by the women from Oceanside. Things are looking good. They’ve been given a pass. Aaron tries to convince them to help fight against Negan and the Saviors, but no luck. At least they’re not getting killed. Aaron wants to try convincing the women of Oceanside to help in the good fight while he sends Enid back to tell Maggie the plan.
Simon goes out to see Jadis and her people, which starts out confrontational because everybody’s got guns. Y’know, same as modern day America! Well starting out Simon demands an “apology” for their involvement in Rick’s assault on the Sanctuary. Not exactly something Jadis is going to do, we knew that already. Makes things sketchier when the Saviors say they’re going to take all the guns and ammo there, giving over what’s needed when it’s needed. Yikes. And Jadis agrees initially.
However, Simon is intent on being apologised to with remorse. When he doesn’t get it, he shoots Brion (Thomas Francis Murphy). When he doesn’t feel there’s enough, he shoots Tamiel (Sabrina Gennarino), too. Jadis punches Simon, and that causes an all-out massacre of the nihilists. Any kind of good that remained in that guy has gone out the window. He’s become a monster, as well as gone against Negan’s wishes.
Cut back to Rick and Michonne, fighting in the garbage pit surrounded with the walking dead. They climb up onto a hill of debris. This is actually post-massacre, when they find a lone Jadis sitting atop the garbage left shattered by the death of her people. She is broken, to the point she’s back to talking normally unlike the broken speech patterns of their community. Rick and Michonne manage to get out, purposefully leaving Jadis behind to fend for herself. Not that the woman can’t handle herself, she is a goddamn warrior. It’s sad to see her have to corral all her old friends up into the trash compactor. Maybe one of the more tragic, brutal scenes in recent memory on The Walking Dead, as her former friends are minced into meat. This will likely only harden the resolve of Jadis to continue on.
On the road, Rick reads the letter Carl wrote to Negan. It talks about the fleeting nature of the world in a post-zombie apocalypse and about how there will always be people like Negan who’ll want to do what he does, or feel the need to do what he does. One of the most important pieces we can read, albeit briefly, reads as follows: “The way out is working together. It‘s forgiveness.” All Carl wanted to do in his dying days was see peace, somehow, some way. Even if that’s a lofty, utopian, and somewhat naive point-of-view. The father sees the goodness of his son, the purity that still reimained in his boy after so much horror.
So, what does former Sheriff Grimes do? He calls Negan up on the walkie. He tells the villain that Carl asked them “to stop.” But Rick believes it’s too far gone, and that he has to kill him. This episode continues to be surprising when we see Negan show humanity, asking about how the kid died, and he seems to show genuine emotion, no matter if it’s slightly misguided. Either way, Negan doubles down and calls Rick out viciously. Although I’m not sure the leader of the Saviors wants to get Rick too angry, or else things could get impossibly ugly for everybody. I guess that’s gonna happen anyway, no?
I haven’t been massively thrilled with The Walking Dead over the last couple seasons, aside from handfuls of episodes here or there that keep me latched onto the storytelling and the characters. That being said, “The Lost and the Plunderers” is possibly one of my favourite episodes in a while. There’s a lot to say about Negan here, and Rick, too. Will definitely need to re-watch again some time soon.
“Dead or Alive Or” is next.